Holy Polar Vortex Batman! What a winter… Blizzard? I actually broke the pull-cord on my snowblower last week, not because the damn thing won’t start (I had it tuned up at the start of the winter and it’s a been a “first pull every time” machine) but because I’ve been starting it so much this winter. AND, that’s just when I’m home, out on the road, it’s been more of the same + sub zero etc. etc. Makes for interesting driving conditions that’s for sure. This shot was taken flying out of Calgary right before Christmas… first time I’ve seen ground-crew pushing a baggage cart through the snow. To all my friends in the UK and Ireland, I’ve been following your version of this with awe: floods, high winds, rain, tidal surges – makes you wonder about this global warming thing eh? Typical Canadian – starts his conversation with weather (cold enough for ya?). OK onto the business…
See below for info on -
SOUTH, Blackie and The Rodeo Kings’ new album and tour schedule.
TEA and CONFIDENCES, Fearing and White’s soon to be released 2nd album and upcoming tour schedule.
BETWEEN HURRICANES, the story continues.
STEPHEN FEARING PHOTOGRAPHY, more exhibitions and further updates.
SOUTH Blackie and The Rodeo Kings on Tour
I just found out that we have been invited to play The Grand Ol’ Opry March 8th in Nashville. Unbelievable!
South demonstrates that Blackie and the Rodeo Kings are capable of doing just about anything they set their minds too – No Depression.
Yep, South is out and ringing the bell on both sides of the border. Currently in the top 10 of the Canadian top 50 / #1 in the Canadian Folk/Roots/Blues chart AND #11 in the US Americana charts, this album seems to be connecting with folks on the airwaves and is definitely connecting live as we’ve witnessed from our last 20 sold-out shows. Our tour schedule (so far) took us through Southern Ontario, before heading up North (Dryden, Sioux Lookout, Fort Frances, Red Lake, Thunder Bay), a quick dash through Alberta and out to The West Coast, where we taped a segment for CBC Radio (+ video for the web) in Vancouver, which will be broadcast in the near future. We are all home now, taking a break from touring for a week or so, before heading down to the states – tour details are here My sense is that this record will have us touring and playing north and south of the border for some time to come and with any luck will open many more doors in the US and elsewhere. As the Hamilton Spectator said - If you think 50 is when your creativity starts waning, or if you think it’s a time when your career has probably reached its zenith, you should introduce yourself to the world of Tom Wilson, Stephen Fearing and Colin Linden. Plans for the next B&RK record are underway and we will likely start pre-production in the next month or so… make hay while the sun shines right?
For more tour info and updates on the bands progress + links to buy SOUTH and all our other recordings, T-Shirts etc. got to www.blackieandtherodeokings.com
As any cook knows, when several pots come to a boil at the same time, all you can do is sling that food and start serving…
which is how I feel launching F&W’s new Tea and Confidences as South is bubbling over. C’est la music-business-vie!
Our first album entitled Fearing& White - was written in week-long sessions over about ten years, but with Andy and I both so busy these days, and (still) living on opposite sides of the planet, we knew that we would have to work fast to write the the new one… to cut a long story short, we basically wrote Tea and Confidences in two short bursts of inspired madness (a brief stint in January 2012 at my house in Halifax got the ball rolling, followed by a 4 day write-athon on Saltspring Island in August 2012, where we nailed 11 songs and killed a few bottles of wine). The album was recorded in Guelph – January 2013, at Scott Merritt’s The Cottage studio with Gary Craig on drums/percussion with special guests: Jeff Bird (Cowboy Junkies) – Harmonica and Ray Farrugia (LeE HarvEy Osmond) – Drums. This new recording is a big step forward for Fearing & White, and as our bio says, “… sounds like each man’s most urgent statement to date. The songs are filled with big tones and the pure excitement of creation. … guitar-driven rock numbers built around jukebox-ready grooves (“We Came Together”, “Sanctuary”) and aching harmonies with no-frills arrangements on ballads (“Emigrant Song”, “Another Time Another Place”). On Tea and Confidences it’s all brought to life with a spark and the spirit of discovery hanging thick in the air.” You want to hear (and download) a cut? Click here, have a listen and share it with your pals... you’re welcome : – )
New Website - It’s hard to keep up with all the various social network, the tweeting, FBing and instagraming gets a leeetle overwhelming at times, so why even bother with an old-school website one wonders ? Well I still believe in them, it’s just keeping them fresh that’s hard. Oh well, with fresh resolve to post regularly, I’m happy to tell you that the new improved and oh-so-sexy Fearing & White website is up and running. Click here! And if you are an instagram-er, please hashtag anything remotely connected to us as #fearingandwhite and voila, watch it appear on our site.
Tour plans are coming together quickly with twenty plus shows booked across western Canada in March and April, plans for the summer and fall are afoot and, well, it’s going to be “interesting” to see if I can keep all the balls in the air. Here are our tour dates.
BETWEEN HURRICANES. It seems like ages since I released this, my ninth album, but it’s only been a little over a year…. time flies etc.
I’ve been touring hard across Canada and overseas in the UK. Much as I love the camaraderie of the bands I am part of, there is nothing quite like the solitude of one vocal mic. and this past year, it has been a great pleasure to jump in the rental with just my gear , a few boxes of CDS and a suitcase and hit the road, stopping when and where I want for coffee or a photo that catches my eye. So much water under the bridge in a year… I even made it into the world of fiction as referenced by a character in Nicholson Baker’s new novel - Traveling Sprinkler. Between Hurricanes has been well received and if I am lucky, there will be time down the road to revisit some of the new places I got to on the last tour across Canada, The States and The UK (hello Liverpool!). Many thanks to those who came out to the shows last year and to those who showed great hospitality and kindness in booking, feeding and watering me…. In the meantime, I thought you all might want to know that the album was made “Album of The Week” by BBC Scotland and was nominated for a few Canadian Folk Music Awards and just recently, an East Coast Music Award. The critics are still weighing in.
“… wielding metaphor like Richard Thompson at his fighting weight” – Nine Bullets
I’ve been taking photographs for years… My first camera was a Bakelite brownie (O-L-D!) and there have been several since, including a beautiful Pentax that my sister Jane gave me years ago… however, like a lot of people, it was seeing and capturing the image that I loved and mostly I was disappointed by the prints that came back from the lab, if I even got as far as printing them. More often than not, there was a collection of unprocessed films crowding the eggs in my fridge… then I got a laptop, digital photography arrived and the whole game changed for me. You see, one thing a touring musician has in abundance, is time to kill. In between the planes and automobiles, the sound checks and hotel rooms, the hurry up and wait, there is plenty of time for messing with images and I have gradually learned my way into the wonderfully complex world of photographic software. The circle is complete for me now and the next logical step is album covers which I achieved on Between Hurricanes and more recently, South. I’ve also branched out into selling prints on-line through my website (click here) and am also bringing gorgeous poster prints with me to sell on the road. Even more exciting, I’ve had a few gallery exhibitions and am planning more in the future. Diversify or die right? Multiple income streams!!!
So that’s it for this newsletter, I will keep you updated on my various endeavors (have no fear). If you’ve read this all the way through, gold star! As my stepfather used to say – go to the head of the class and kiss the teacher…. and thanks for listening